The comparisons to Keane and Coldplay are inevitable, so I’ll go right ahead. Like Coldplay’s Parachutes, like Doves’ Lost Souls, and Travis’s The Man WhoThe Invitation didn’t hook me in right away. Like the aforementioned bands, they are rock of a softer variety. It wasn’t until I heard all the praise for such bands that I gave each album a second, third, or even fourth chance, and they grew on me.
Yet unlike Coldplay, Doves, and Travis, Thirteen Senses has yet to win me over.
The Invitation opens up with a hauntingly melodic piano, hinting at musical ingenuity, with sensitive lyrics and heart-wrenching melodies. Yet the piano soon blends into a myriad of harmonies- beautiful sounds which quickly develop into great background music. Unfortunately, the individual songs do not have enough variation in them to keep from blending in with the background.
Vocalist Will South’s sweet, soft voice floats above the melody like a feather—pleasant and pretty, drifting along, and ultimately not demanding any attention whatsoever. This lack of excitement remains constant throughout the disc.
The Invitation was released in September 2004. By now it has had four top-40 hits in the UK, but apparently took awhile to grow on the audiences. I can believe it. While songs like “Thru the Glass” and “Into the Fire” are a welcome break from the heavier rock dominating the airwaves, in an album, they are indistinguishable from the next song. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, The Invitation doesn’t stand out as anything more than inoffensive, melodic, vanilla-flavoured rock.